Match ends, Chelsea 2, Manchester City 1.
Chelsea 2-1 Manchester City
Chelsea maintained a seven-point advantage over Tottenham at the top of the Premier League with a hard-fought victory over Manchester City.
Pep Guardiola suffered league defeats home and away to the same opponents in a single league season for the first time in his managerial career as City are left to fight for a top-four place.
Eden Hazard gave Chelsea a 10th-minute lead when his shot deflected off returning City captain Vincent Kompany past keeper Willy Caballero, who should have done better.
Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois was also badly at fault when his poor clearance to David Silva set up Sergio Aguero's equaliser after 26 minutes - but Chelsea were back in front before half-time.
They were awarded a penalty after Fernandinho tripped Pedro and even though Cabellero saved Hazard's spot-kick, the rebound fell kindly for the Belgian to score.
City, who stay in fourth, had the better chances in a tense second period, with Kompany's header bouncing back off the bar and John Stones shooting over from six yards in injury time. Chelsea, however, held on for a win that was even more vital given Tottenham's dramatic late comeback at Swansea City.
Chelsea back on track for title
Chelsea's progress towards the Premier League title has been a tale of almost unbroken serenity since manager Antonio Conte reworked his tactical approach after successive losses at home to Liverpool and away to Arsenal in September.
This was arguably their biggest game since as it followed on from the shock home loss to Crystal Palace and it was against a Manchester City side with the talent and capability to make this night at Stamford Bridge a real test of nerve.
And so it proved as City, with Silva the orchestrator supreme, putting Chelsea's defence and their supporters on edge right until the final whistle.
Chelsea emerged triumphant thanks to the mixture of talent and resilience that has served them so well this season and the celebrations at the final whistle reflected just what a significant night this might prove to be.
Hazard provided the flourishes but manager Conte proved his pragmatism with the introduction of Nemanja Matic for Kurt Zouma at the start of the second half to attempt to lock down the win.
It worked to an extent but Chelsea also enjoyed good fortune as Kompany's header bounced back off the bar and Stones somehow scooped an injury-time chance over the top.
In the final reckoning, Chelsea showed the bloody-minded defiance of champions - and this is the sort of result that could earn them that crown.
Conte and Guardiola animated on touchline
If this meeting of two of the Premier League's superpowers and two elite coaches was meant to be an enjoyable experience, you would not have known from the body language of Chelsea coach Conte and his Manchester City counterpart Guardiola.
The Catalan, in particular, appears to lead an agonised existence in his technical area. The advocate of the joyous, beautiful game looks as if he is going through torture in almost every match.
He was slapping his thigh and remonstrating with backroom staff within 15 seconds of the kick-off and he was in regular dialogue with fourth official Bobby Madley, with Conte occasionally joining in.
It was, it should be stressed, another frustrating night for Guardiola when his team promised much and ended with nothing - although it concluded with a warm handshake for Conte, who also looked like he had endured a tough night.
Conte, by his standards, was relatively low key but the mask dropped at the final whistle as he pumped his fists in the direction of Chelsea's fans. This was a huge night for the Italian as he did the double over Guardiola.
City pay price for familiar failings
Manchester City remain the great enigma of the Premier League - looking like they could score every time they attack but liable to concede at any moment.
Guardiola still has a goalkeeper conundrum, with Willy Caballero unconvincing and caught out by a routine deflection from Kompany for Hazard's first goal, while there is an air of permanent frailty at the back.
City's slim title hopes are now over and they must hunt a top-four place, aided by Bournemouth's late equaliser at Liverpool, and the FA Cup.
They must achieve one of both of those targets to stop this season ending unfulfilled before Guardiola tackles those goalkeeping and defensive problems in the summer.
Man of the match - Eden Hazard
Good for Hazard, not good for Guardiola - the match stats
- Eden Hazard is the first Chelsea player to score home and away against Man City in the Premier League since Salomon Kalou in 2007-08.
- Hazard now has 10 Premier League goals at Stamford Bridge this season - more than any other player. This is the second time he's reached double figures at home in the league, after netting 10 there in 2013-14.
- Sergio Aguero has scored five goals at Stamford Bridge as an away player in the Premier League - the only player with more is Robin van Persie (six), while Craig Bellamy also has five.
- Pep Guardiola has suffered six league defeats as Manchester City boss this season - his highest tally in a single league season as a manager.
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte told Match of the Day: "My look is tired because I feel like I played it tonight with my players. I suffered with them.
"But we must be pleased because we beat a strong team - the best team in the league. I think they have a great coach - the best in the world. To win this type of game at this time of the season is great."
Man City boss Pep Guardiola told Match of the Day: "It's an honour to have the amazing players I have. We come here to Stamford Bridge and play the way we have, with huge personality. I'm a lucky guy to manage these guys."
Chelsea travel to Bournemouth in Saturday's late kick-off (17:30 BST) while Man City host Hull City at 15:00.
- 5ZoumaSubstituted forMaticat 45'minutes
- 30David Luiz
- 4FàbregasSubstituted forWillianat 81'minutes
- 7KantéBooked at 90mins
- 10HazardSubstituted forLoftus-Cheekat 90'minutes
- 19Diego Costa
- 15Jesús Navas
- 4KompanyBooked at 83mins
- 22ClichyBooked at 52mins
- 18DelphBooked at 77mins
- 17De BruyneSubstituted forSterlingat 79'minutes
- 19SanéSubstituted forNolitoat 85'minutes
- 42Y Touré
- Mike Dean
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Chelsea 2, Manchester City 1.
N'Golo Kanté (Chelsea) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
David Silva (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by N'Golo Kanté (Chelsea).
Attempt missed. John Stones (Manchester City) right footed shot from very close range is too high. Assisted by Vincent Kompany with a headed pass following a corner.
Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Thibaut Courtois.
Attempt saved. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Nolito with a through ball.
Substitution, Chelsea. Ruben Loftus-Cheek replaces Eden Hazard.
Foul by David Silva (Manchester City).
Marcos Alonso (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Gary Cahill (Chelsea) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Willian with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Chelsea. Conceded by Gaël Clichy.
Substitution, Manchester City. Nolito replaces Leroy Sané.
Vincent Kompany (Manchester City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Vincent Kompany (Manchester City).
Eden Hazard (Chelsea) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by John Stones (Manchester City).
Diego Costa (Chelsea) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Substitution, Chelsea. Willian replaces Cesc Fàbregas.
Attempt missed. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is close, but misses to the right following a corner.
Attempt missed. John Stones (Manchester City) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by David Silva with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by N'Golo Kanté.
Attempt blocked. Fernandinho (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Raheem Sterling.
Substitution, Manchester City. Raheem Sterling replaces Kevin De Bruyne.
Hand ball by David Silva (Manchester City).
Fabian Delph (Manchester City) is shown the yellow card.
Foul by Fabian Delph (Manchester City).
Diego Costa (Chelsea) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Attempt missed. Eden Hazard (Chelsea) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Pedro.
Attempt blocked. David Luiz (Chelsea) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Foul by Vincent Kompany (Manchester City).
Diego Costa (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Vincent Kompany (Manchester City).
Eden Hazard (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by David Luiz.
Fernandinho (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Nemanja Matic (Chelsea).
Attempt missed. John Stones (Manchester City) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by David Silva following a set piece situation.
Vincent Kompany (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.